Despite warning, Greenup Co. expected to stay eligible for flood - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Despite warning, Greenup Co. expected to stay eligible for flood insurance

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A northeastern Kentucky county at risk of being shut out of a national flood insurance program expects to come into compliance with federal rules before a September deadline set by FEMA, state and local officials said.

On Monday, FEMA warned residents in Greenup County, Ky., and counties and cities in four other states, that they may be prohibited from buying the insurance after Sept. 26 because their local governments have failed to meet the program's guidelines.

Greenup County floodplain manager Gary Boyd said he expects county and city governments to pass ordinances that include updated floodplain maps in the coming weeks. Once those laws are enacted, Greenup residents will remain eligible for the insurance program.

“We're going to be pushing it to the end of September,” Boyd said.

The national program is the primary source of flood insurance, offering substantially cheaper policies than private ones, according to the Kentucky Association of Mitigation Managers.

Greenup, the only Kentucky county named in FEMA's notice in the U.S. Federal Register, sits on the Ohio River near the state's borders with Ohio and West Virginia. The Little Sandy River also cuts through the county.

The Kentucky Division of Water works with local governments to update flood-related ordinances and revise flood maps, said Carey Johnson, the state's flood mapping coordinator.

Officials have worked to improve maps across the state, including in Greenup, over the past decade, Johnson said. The warning in the Federal Register is "uncommon but not unheard of," he said.

"This is an important issue," Johnson said. "We obviously don't want them to lose their federal flood insurance availability."

The federal program is voluntary, but most Kentucky cities and counties give property owners the ability to participate. In all, 115 of the state's 120 counties are eligible, according to Kentucky Emergency Management.

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